Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Being Invited

Zephaniah 1: Be silent before the Sovereign Lord,
    for the day of the Lord is near.
The Lord has prepared a sacrifice;
    he has consecrated those he has invited.


Overlooked and unimportant was my description. Everyone else was having “fun” meanwhile I was the person who was picked last to be on the team. One day, while sitting in class, I heard the most foreign words. “Would you like to come to my birthday party on Saturday?” In shock, I had to look around to see if they were speaking to me. “Yes” I blurted out! Wow, my first birthday party!

  • It feels great to be invited.
  • It truly feels wonderful to be thought of.
  • It really feels terrific to be included.

Getting an invitation means “I belong” and I wasn’t getting a lot of them, or at least not the right ones. I was invited to try some drugs and another time I was invited to be an accomplice to a shoplifting plot. While I avoided these, some of the “not so good” invitations sounded good. What should I do?

  • GOD says to me “Be silent before ME.”
  • GOD says to me “MY return is imminent and the day of the LORD will be horrifying.”
  • GOD says to me “I have invited you to be part of MY family. I stand at the door and knock. If anyone opens the door I WILL come in and sup with them.”

Many years later I see that there is only one invitation that is important, namely being invited to be in GOD’s family. Through JESUS, whose death burial and resurrection cleansed my sins, I was invited. When I accepted this ultra-special invitation, I now belong to a family who will never leave me nor forsake me. I am treated wonderfully by GOD!

  • Are you looking for an invitation but not getting it?
  • Do you feel left out?
  • Will you accept GOD’s invitation to be part of HIS family?
  • Do you know HE is looking specifically for you right now so HE can pour out HIS love on you?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Prayer for These Days

Habakkuk 3:Lord, I have heard of your fame;
    I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Repeat them in our day,
    in our time make them known;
    in wrath remember mercy.


17 Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.
For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.


“What about our time?” I asked. I mean I have read history that recorded immediate deliverance from some ghastly situations. People were rescued from lions and furnaces and removed from jail. Can these things happen today?

  • GOD tells me to say “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
  • GOD tells me to say “The LORD is my shepherd I shall not want.”
  • GOD says to me “Be still, and know that I AM GOD; I WILL be exalted among the nations, I WILL be exalted in the earth.”

Even when trouble occurs and it seems to be no way out, I will rejoice in the LORD. HE has shown HIMSELF to me time and time again through HIS daily deliverance. GOD is my strength, through HIM comes my joy! amen

  • Will you take your bitterness and turn it into praise today?
  • Will you reduce the amount of complaining you do and trade it in for exaltation today?
  • Will you stop looking at you and start looking at GOD today!

Monday, November 28, 2016

What to Live By

Habakkuk 2: “See, the enemy is puffed up;
    his desires are not upright—
    but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness


“You are very good at what you do” someone said to me. “I am” I thought to myself. I “deserve” a raise and a promotion. I did not put my feet on the person’s desk physically, but I did with my words. “When will I be next in line for a higher position?” I said.

  • There have been times when I have thought “more highly” of myself.
  • There have been times when I have felt I am “better” than “that” person.
  • There have been times when I have believed the words of flattery and let them go to my head.

After getting the promotion I soon realized this was not enough. I mean my boss was asking me all the questions. Shouldn’t “I” be the boss? I took classes on how to get to the next level and after a while I did become the boss, only after a lot of people were fired! Good riddance! Or was it?

  • GOD wants me to walk humbly with HIM.
  • GOD desires that I live for HIM and not for the job.
  • GOD wants me to follow HIS ways and live by HIS faithfulness.

Instead of becoming a repellent, GOD wants me to be a draw to many. HE wants me to place my sinful desires at HIS feet and ask “Do YOU want me to have this?” and allow HIS answer to be “No!” HE wants me to treat everyone with respect and allow HIS humility to be my guide.

Faithfulness to GOD is the creed I need to follow. It should not matter how high I climb as long as I have GOD guiding me. GOD removes my arrogance and replaces it with HIS wisdom.

  • Do you have a deserving attitude?
  • Do you believe you should be treated better?
  • Do you think you can rob or take whatever you desire?
  • Can you stop thinking more highly of yourself and allow GOD to humble your ways?

Dedicated to the robber who attacked one of my daughter’s. – GOD forgives

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Well Placed Complaint

Habakkuk 1: How long, Lord, must I call for help,
    but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
    but you do not save?


13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
    you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
    Why are you silent while the wicked
    swallow up those more righteous than themselves?


“There’s nothing on TV!” I blurted out. I pay for hundreds of channels and you would think they would have just one I could watch! “My phone has no signal!” I exclaimed. I pay for a fast network and you would think I should be able to get coverage here on the moon! “Traffic is moving too slow because of that camper!” I said out loud. I wonder what I can do.

  • Sometimes I complain about comfort.
  • Sometimes I grumble about luxury items.
  • Sometimes I grouse about things that are out of my control.

Complaining takes practice and after a while I had a PhD in complain-ology! It’s too cold, or it’s too rainy were whining statements I protested as I passed a homeless person without seeing them. “Man, my tire is low light is on again!” are words I have said while driving out of communities where people are murdered, overlooked and undignified. Should I complain?

  • GOD says to me “Stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.”
  • GOD says to me “Pray for those who have needs.”
  • GOD says to me “Serve those who are poor and outcast and I will serve you far more than you know.”

Habakkuk complained about the mistreatment of his friends, family and community. He wasn’t asking for more riches rather some relief from the oppressors. He knew GOD was the only answer to truly difficult situations. GOD wants me to focus on some of these problems as well. HE wants me to have compassion when necessary.

Instead of complaining about traffic, HE wants me to pray for those who are involved in the accident. Rather than complaining about luxury TV, HE wants me to have a heart of thanksgiving that I even have TV and maybe open up my home to someone who doesn’t. GOD does not mind a complaint as long as the other side points to growing HIS kingdom.

  • What are you complaining about right now?
  • Are you complaining about your comfort?
  • Can you reduce your complaints a little and point your frustrated words towards injustice?
  • Will you genuinely pray for those you have overlooked today?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Where to Place Trust

Nahum 3: 16 You have increased the number of your merchants
    till they are more numerous than the stars in the sky,
but like locusts they strip the land
    and then fly away.
17 Your guards are like locusts,
    your officials like swarms of locusts
    that settle in the walls on a cold day—
but when the sun appears they fly away,
    and no one knows where.


“Go to school” was the overarching advice given to me by the masses. I went, got kicked out, went back and finally finished. “Get a job” was the next message that was a norm to society. I went, got kicked out, went back and same story.

  • Sometimes I place my trust in governmental themes.
  • Sometimes I place my trust in societal norms.
  • Sometimes I place my trust in global commerce.

Looking back, I can see the bright shiny statements of groups promising safety and security. In glowing gullibility I soaked it up and followed the masses like a lemming. One day I cheered for “my” choice of a leader, the next I pouted in disappointment. Where should I place my trust?

  • GOD says to me “I AM the one who controls nations, not humans.”
  • GOD says to me “I AM the one who controls economies, not groups.”
  • GOD says to me “I AM the one who gives and I AM the one who takes, not bosses, leaders or chiefs.”

Completing school is great, getting a job is wonderful, having a business is amazing, but all is for naught without GOD. Placing too much trust in any human construct is a huge mistake. GOD sees the storehouses being built and in an instance, wipes it away like dust. HE makes me nervous, quite honestly.

I mean should I keep going in any effort? Yes! I need to traverse the unknown holding GOD’s hand every step of the way. GOD desires that I dwell in HIM and HE in me. My jealousy of the rich and powerful diminishes when I know GOD is pleased with me following HIS plan.

  • Are you secretly following government and preaching GOD?
  • Do you get mad at not being wealthy enough as society dictates?
  • Can you stop following the crowd and start following GOD who controls it all?
  • Will you place your total trust in GOD today?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Destruction Restored

Nahum 2: The Lord will restore the splendor of Jacob
    like the splendor of Israel,
though destroyers have laid them waste
    and have ruined their vines.


“My life is ruined!” I thought to myself. I had a new pair of pants and the pen in my pocket “flooded” and drained all throughout the fabric. I had to deal with the humiliation all day, which was about five hours or so!

“My life is ruined!” I thought to myself when I was in a head on collision. Not making much money, I did not have enough to buy another car. I had to resort to walking a mile and a half to work!

  • There were times when I thought “my life is ruined” because I lost something I deemed as special.
  • There were times when I believed “this is the end” when something was taken out of my hands.
  • There were times when I felt “Everything is falling apart” when something I wanted was not achieved.

From music collections to money, I have had things stolen, lost and destroyed. When I lost five dollars before going into the amusement park I cried like a child, because I was a child. In fact, even when I got older I was childish in response to the stuff that was now gone. What should I do?

  • GOD says to me “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.”
  • GOD says to me “You cannot serve money and ME.”
  • GOD says to me “Give everything to ME and all will be well with you.”

By giving everything to GOD I noticed I did not mind “as much” if HE took whatever “it” was away. “It” is all HIS anyway. Job said “The LORD gives and the LORD takes away; blessed be the name of the LORD” and this is true. I cannot say it does not hurt to lose stuff, but I can say that I do not have to stay in mourning over the lost stuff long.

GOD says “I will restore your splendor” which means I have splendor in the first place. HE enjoys picking me up, dusting me off and placing me in a high place that I never would have expected. GOD’s plan is incredibly wonderful for me. I do not have to fret over “stuff” very long.

  • Are you crying over something you lost or was stolen from you?
  • Do you feel like everything is ruined now that you don’t have the income, house or car?
  • Can you stop looking at the stuff for a moment and look at GOD?
  • Will you allow HIM to restore you to the splendor HE made you with today?  

Friday, November 18, 2016

Help in Troubled Times

Habakkuk 1: The Lord is good,
    a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him


 Sitting on the edge of my bed, I worried about my “future.” What would it be like? How will I make it with the debt I was carrying? I ignored those who spoke about all that “GOD” stuff and went on my way.  I mean they don’t seem any better off. In fact, I have seen some people who spoke about “GOD” who were even more in debt than I was!

  • There were times that I worried about “my future.”
  • There were times when I did the math and my future looked bleak!
  • There were times when life did not seem to provide enough money so I thought everything was bad.

“Trust in the dollar with all your thoughts and all your future plans and all your ways” was my way of thinking. I would talk about where I was with others and they would put on a pity face with me. There seemed to be no way out! BUT GOD said something different!

  • GOD said to me “Put your total trust in ME and all will be well with you.”
  • GOD said to me “Seek ME in times of trouble and you will find refuge.”
  • GOD said to me “Give me your worries, fears and doubts and I will make your paths straight.”

I had reached the end of my rope, or so I thought. I went to a small church and the preacher asked “Is there anyone here who wants to give their life back to GOD?” Something inside me said, “Get up!” so I did. As I walked down the aisle, I could hear clapping and cheering. Tear flowed down my face as I reached a group who prayed for me and with me. I finally felt at peace!

  • Are you troubled?
  • Do you think there is no way out?
  • Can you place your trust in GOD today?
  • Will you give HIM your fears, worries and doubts?
  • Can you place your total trust in GOD and stop looking at the past and the future?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Daily Delight

Micah 7: But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
    I wait for God my Savior;
    my God will hear me.


18 Who is a God like you,
    who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
    of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
    but delight to show mercy.
19 You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.


“Wham!” was the first thing that happened as I stubbed my toe against a cabinet. I ran around the house looking for my keys and it seemed to take a solid year to find them. I was in a hurry to get to work and “this guy” was in front of me with his blinker on for miles, doing well under the speed limit. “What a day!” I thought to myself.

  • There are some days where I get flustered.
  • There are some days that seem to have more wrong than right.
  • There are some days that simply just get to me!

As I rushed throughout the day I noticed my demeanor getting worse and worse. I went to get something to eat and my order was wrong! “That’s it! I had enough!” I thought to myself. I wasn’t going to let the day push me around anymore! I was ready to argue, fuss and fight with the next thing that went wrong. Is this how I should be?

  • GOD says to me “Place your hope in me and I will hear you.”
  • GOD says to me “I AM the one who pardons your sins and forgives your transgressions.”
  • GOD says to me “I will not stay angry forever and I delight in showing mercy to you.”

“Delight” was the thing that was missing from the day. From early morning and all throughout the day, I had missed out on “delightful” moments that could have been wonderful. Instead of complaining, I should seek out what delights GOD.

By slowing down long enough to place my “hope” in HIM through prayer, GOD actually listens directly to me. Amazing! HE leads me to a quiet place and turns my hurried harassed day into a place where I can see HIM doing HIS wonders. GOD has compassion on me.

  • Are you ready to fight?
  • Are you ready to snap and are collecting your “side” of the story?
  • Will you put down your poison and put away your sharp tongued weapons and seek GOD’s peace?
  • Will you ask yourself “Why am I so angry” and ask GOD to show what delights HIM today?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Exhausted Trying to Please

Micah 6: He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.


Figuring out what the boss wanted was a puzzle and I was losing sleep. I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking about work so I would jump out of bed, labor for a couple of hours then fall asleep for the remaining fifteen or twenty minutes before the alarm. I would then try to present my work only to be brushed off to do more laborious tasks. “What does he want?” I would exclaim!

  • Sometimes I get exhausted trying to please others.
  • Sometimes I get weary trying to guess at what others want from me.
  • Sometimes I get fatigued trying so hard to get things right that I lose sleep and feel even more tired!

“What do YOU want from me?” is an expression I have also used on GOD. I mean when I wasn’t getting my way I would try to do what GOD wanted me to do in a measured way. I would pray more, give more and show up to church more. I would even reduce my sins for good measure.

Then when I did not get my way, I would tell the LORD the list of things I had done so HE could eventually relent on holding back from my long past due rewards. I would then ask again “What do YOU want from me?”

  • GOD says to me “I want you to act justly to MY people.”
  • GOD says to me “I want you to love the mercy I have shown you.”
  • GOD says to me “I want you to walk humbly with ME, your GOD.”

CHRIST walked the earth showing me how life really should be done. HE set the example by showing even HIS enemy’s compassion. HE expressed HIS unfailing love in an extreme gentle way. The problem is sometimes the things I want may not be part of HIS plans. In fact they may conflict with HIM.

Any time I am anxious, nervous and afraid I must ask myself “Am I fighting GOD or serving HIM? GOD is not hard to please. HE was so pleased that HE became a human to die in my place. HE simply wants me to look at HIS example and follow them daily. That’s all.

  • Are you exhausted trying to please others?
  • Are you exhausted trying to please GOD?
  • Can you stop “trying” so hard and just “be” the person GOD wants you to be?
  • Will you stop downing yourself and others around you so you can add praise back into your life?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Greatness out of Small Places

Micah 5:“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times.”


He will stand and shepherd his flock
    in the strength of the Lord,
    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they will live securely, for then his greatness
    will reach to the ends of the earth.


Eloquent was his speech and solid was his direction. I watched this person rise from nothing to become the CEO of one of the largest companies in the world. I asked him where he lived when he grew up. Surprisingly he answered “the projects” or “slums” or “ghetto” to others. I thought to myself, “Someone this fantastic can come out of a place that is looked down upon by the masses?”

  • Sometimes I underestimate the people in small places.
  • Sometimes I overlook the people in places that are categorized as off limits.
  • Sometimes I protect myself by labeling places and people instead of searching for bright spots.

When I went to serve in a neighborhood that was classified as dangerous, I found people who had aspirations of becoming a doctor, lawyer, and famous musician. These individuals had something in common, they all followed GOD.

  • JESUS chose to become a human in a town that was overlooked.
  • JESUS chose to be born in a place where people would classify it as a slum or a ghetto.
  • JESUS chose to provide HIS redemption through a small place called Bethlehem.

GOD told me to teach these people about HIM and as they sat in my class I could see them grasping onto HIS message in their own way. They were hungry for the LORD and HE did enable them to become what they sought out to be! GOD raised them to their place and they have not forgotten HIM. I learned a lesson, never label a place or person that GOD has a plan for, including myself!

  • Are you labeling people in order to protect yourself?
  • Have you labeled people so much that you refuse to serve them?
  • Will you remove your label and serve people who do not look or act like you?
  • Can you realize that you may serve a person who will be used by GOD to bring millions to HIM?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Plan of Restoration

Micah 4:“In that day,” declares the Lord,
“I will gather the lame;
    I will assemble the exiles
    and those I have brought to grief.
I will make the lame my remnant,
    those driven away a strong nation.
The Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion
    from that day and forever.
As for you, watchtower of the flock,
    stronghold of Daughter Zion,
the former dominion will be restored to you;
    kingship will come to Daughter Jerusalem.”


Subpar insurance was all I could get because I was young, had accidents and a pile of tickets. The insurance cost me a mint but the broker told me, “just hang in there for twelve months and you can switch.” I watched the calendar like it was a clock. The days seemed to drop ever so slowly. If felt like the day would never come.

  • Sometimes it feels like an eternity before I am restored.
  • Sometimes it seems like restoration will never come.
  • Sometimes it appears that I will not make it to the end of the waiting period and everything will come crashing down on my head.

Six months into the wait, it felt like the day would never come, but when three months passed, the waiting period didn’t feel as harsh. In fact I could feel a weight lift off my shoulders even though I was still in the situation. I could actually see myself out of the trial!

  • GOD wants me to know HE has a plan for me that is prosperous and will give me hope and a future.
  • GOD wants me to know HE will gather me along with the lame and others HE has brought grief to.
  • GOD wants me to know HE will restore me.

Hope is what I was missing when I went into the problem. I mean I had to cancel plans of getting out of debt only to go in deeper because of my sordid driving. Life is like that. When I lose hope then I lose my way and I cannot reach full restoration. GOD is kind enough to tell me HE has a plan to restore me. HE wants me to keep going until I reach the day of the LORD.

GOD wants full restoration of every human, including me. It’s when I stop fighting who HE is, then I can be accepting of HIS plan. HE seeks me daily and wants me to turn and accept what HE has in store for me.

  • Have you lost hope?
  • Do you think you are at the end of your rope?
  • Will you allow GOD to restore you?
  • Can you stop believing lies and see that GOD does in fact have a wonderful plan just for you?

Friday, November 11, 2016

Price of Preaching

Micah 3: Hear this, you leaders of Jacob,
    you rulers of Israel,
who despise justice
    and distort all that is right;
10 who build Zion with bloodshed,
    and Jerusalem with wickedness.
11 Her leaders judge for a bribe,
    her priests teach for a price,
    and her prophets tell fortunes for money.
Yet they look for the Lord’s support and say,
    “Is not the Lord among us?
    No disaster will come upon us.”


“Maybe I can make some money on a daily devotional” I thought to myself. I mean I do have enough material that I can copy and paste the words into a book and make some cash. Moments later I felt a voice tell me “Do not sell MY words. Give them to MY kingdom and feed MY sheep.”

  • I’ve had thoughts of selling to the church.
  • I’ve had thoughts of making a profit from GOD’s gathering.
  • I’ve had thoughts of saying what people wanted to hear, disregarding what GOD really wants me to say.

After a while, the religious leaders of JESUS’s day were going through the motions. They spoke in front of great crowds for a price and if anyone stood in their way, they would slander them and have them killed. What does GOD want me to do?

  • GOD tells me to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the FATHER and of the SON and of the HOLY SPIRIT.”
  • GOD tells me to “Love the LORD your GOD with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
  • GOD tells me to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

From GOD’s directives, I never hear “go make as much money on the backs of MY people.” HE tells me to gather as many people as I can, while I am alive, to bring them to HIS feet, then HE will give me my reward in Heaven. GOD’s harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.

  • Are you thinking about making more money using GOD’s people?
  • Have you been preaching and teaching what people want to hear in order to get or keep a crowd?
  • Can you admit your sins in front of a crowd so they can hear and be saved by GOD, not you?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The ONE WHO Breaks Through Walls

Micah 2: 11 If a liar and deceiver comes and says,
    ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’
    that would be just the prophet for this people!

Deliverance Promised
12 “I will surely gather all of you, Jacob;
    I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel.
I will bring them together like sheep in a pen,
    like a flock in its pasture;
    the place will throng with people.
13 The One who breaks open the way will go up before them;
    they will break through the gate and go out.
Their King will pass through before them,
    the Lord at their head.”


“Drinks are on me” was a statement I thought was cool! One of the partner’s at the firm I worked at would say this on occasion and everyone would get a treat. He made plans that seemed like they would work but they were based on “half-truths”. In six months he died and we could not land the account he was working on. “Aw man!” I was hoping he would help me with my career!

  • There were times I placed my trust in those who told little white lies.
  • There were times I placed my trust in those who would twist words into a plausibly deniable truth.
  • There were times I placed my trust in those who did not mind covering up huge blunders in order to make themselves shine.

Polished and gruff was the demeanor of this person. I thought I needed to become like him but something was wrong with the approach in my spirit. I would need to learn how to believe in a twisted direction and say what people wanted to hear. BUT GOD says something different.

  • GOD says to me “Speak the truth in love.”
  • GOD says to me “I AM the deliverer.”
  • GOD says to me “Put your trust only in GOD, your LORD and SAVIOR.”

When I placed my trust in HIM, mighty things happened. I was thrust into new heights I could not imagine. GOD was the ONE who broke through barriers and enabled me to be lifted up. HE did not do this without purpose. HE wants me to speak about HIS SON so that many will turn to HIM.  Instead of selfishly thinking about a career, HE wants me to have compassion for those around me. GOD is the head of my life.

  • Are you stuck?
  • Do you think there is no way out of your situation?
  • Can you stop placing your trust in “that” human and put your trust in GOD today?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Supremacy Looks Strange

Micah 1: 15 I will bring a conqueror against you
    who live in Mareshah.
The nobles of Israel
    will flee to Adullam.
16 Shave your head in mourning
    for the children in whom you delight;
make yourself as bald as the vulture,
    for they will go from you into exile.


Little ball bearings were given to us to put into our gauge that listed how high the stock was climbing. After celebration number five I went back to my room for some rest. I got an emergency call in the middle of the night that all leaders need to meet immediately. The CEO was pronounced dead and everyone at the convention was shocked.

  • There have been times when things seemed right and they were wrong.
  • There were times when it looked like smooth sailing and the wind went out of the sails.
  • There have been times when I thought everything would be great and then the rug got pulled out from under me.

“What will we do?” we all thought. Fortunately for us, the number two guy was just as good and was being groomed for the new position. I felt pretty good because he knew me. About a month or two into his service he was diagnosed with cancer and died within six months. What shall we do now?

  • GOD says to me “Place your trust only in ME.”
  • GOD says to me “I AM the way the truth and the life.”
  • GOD says to me “Do not place any gods before ME.”

My excitement was short lived. I thought “With this new leader I can finally get ahead and help others.”  GOD had other plans. HE wanted me to understand that HE is the supreme leader and that I need to focus on HIM more and more. GOD raises up all kinds of people, BUT HE wants me to always keep my eyes on HIM.

  • Are you putting your trust in someone?
  • Did the trust you placed in a person not quite pan out?
  • Will you stop looking at humans and start placing your trust in GOD who is ultimate and supreme?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Why So Angry?

Jonah 4: But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”

But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”


“Pray for your enemies?” I exclaimed! I had been wronged and I did not want these people to remain on the planet let alone have them prosper. GOD was firm with HIS message and I had to finally relent. “LORD, please protect those who set out to harm me. Enable them to know YOUR SON in a saving way. Bless their efforts that are pleasing to YOU.”

About a year later I received news that my adversaries were in fact doing quite well. “See! I knew you would be a gracious GOD!” I pouted.

  • Sometimes I want to pout about what GOD is doing in someone else’s life.
  • Sometimes I want to be the one on top and those who oppose me, on the bottom.
  • Sometimes I want to see the demise of people rather than an escalation.

“Serves them right” were the words I had in mind as I could just picture something bad happening to my foes. BUT GOD had something different in mind.

  • GOD says to me “Is it right for you to be angry when I am not?”
  • GOD says to me “Will you take MY yoke on you and learn from ME how to be slow to anger?”
  • GOD says to me “Can you see that I have held back calamity and MY love is abounding?”

Grace and compassion was the true lesson. I had to spit out my poison and release all the bitterness I had over “those” people in order to see just how blind I was. Over time I was able to truly ask GOD to work in their lives. GOD shows me extreme compassion and wants me to do the same.

  • Are you mad about something someone has done?
  • Are you busy spreading your bitterness?
  • Will you listen to GOD asking you to pay attention to HIS compassion?
  • Can you take GOD’s example and spread a healthy dose of compassion to someone today?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Reluctant Obedience

Jonah 3: Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”

Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.


“Shovel your neighbor’s snow” was the message given to me when I was frantically busy. I mean I had to do something important! After complaining a while, I reluctantly gave in. The next day it snowed again, even harder. “Shovel your neighbor’s snow on both sides of you” was the message this time. “Really?! This will take twice as long!”

  • There have been times when GOD has given me directions that I did not want to follow.
  • There have been times when GOD has spoken directly to me and I found out ways not to obey.
  • There have been times when GOD has given me a directive and I chose to do something different.

Jonah was vomited ashore by a fish after praying for three days. Covered with seaweed and stench, he went to a group of murderers he hated with a passion and preached the message GOD told him. The Ninevites believed in GOD that day.

  • GOD sends me to people who are open to HIS message.
  • GOD tells me to do HIS bidding even when it doesn’t seem as convenient.
  • GOD gives me a message to give to others and sometimes I don’t want to pass on the message.

People say to me “How do you know GOD is speaking to you?” When I hear a message that would be beneficial to someone else, grow GOD’s kingdom and I don’t feel like doing it, that’s when I know GOD is speaking to me. “Give that person your last dollar”, “Stay late and help the person who blames you”, “Shovel the snow when you are busy” are examples of GOD speaking to me at the “wrong” time but not “wrong” at all.

GOD has a way of “testing” my obedience. I don’t me a pass / fail test, I mean a test under fire to strengthen me. HE challenges me to believe in HIM and obey what HE wants me to do. Usually HE has me doing something I don’t want to, but when I obey, I can definitely see the fruit of HIS kingdom.

  • What is GOD saying to you today?
  • Are you fighting GOD when HE is telling you something to do?
  • Will you stop fighting GOD and allow HIM to do a marvelous work through you?

Friday, November 4, 2016

Running on Fumes

Jonah 2: From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said:
“In my distress I called to the Lord,
    and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.


“When my life was ebbing away,
    I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
    to your holy temple.
“Those who cling to worthless idols
    turn away from God’s love for them.
But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
    will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
    I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”


Nervously I sat and stared at the gas gauge. The low gas indicator light had come on miles back and I saw the most horrifying sign that read “Next Stop 27 Miles.” It was very late at night and the road was dark and unfamiliar. I quieted down the radio but it was still too noisy and I finally had to turn it off. “LORD please help!” I cried.

  • Sometimes in life I am running on fumes.
  • Sometimes in life I do not have any answers, only questions.
  • Sometimes in life I have nowhere to turn but to GOD.

Jonah spent three days in the fish. I’m sure he cried out on the first day, ALL DAY, but no response. When I went twenty six miles I felt relieved because even if the car stopped I could walk the extra mile. I made it to the gas station and to my dismay it was closed for the night. The next sign read “Next Stop 15 Miles.” I cried out again, this time with more fervor “LORD HELP!”

  • GOD always helps me but sometimes not in the timing I want.
  • GOD always rescues me but sometimes not in the way I want.
  • GOD always watches over me but sometimes not in the way or time that I would feel totally in control.

Jonah was probably at the point of giving up. He had no sense of time or days and was extremely uncomfortable. He just knew he was going to die, but for some reason had not. HE calmed down in the middle of the turmoil and prayed.

I got back on the road and made it the additional fifteen miles, praying all the way! Gas poured into the tank and I noticed I was truly on empty. I pumped in the max capacity and about a gallon more! All I could do was thank GOD for saving me. My heart was still racing!

  • Are you running on fumes?
  • Have your solutions to life failed and now you feel you have nowhere to turn?
  • Can you calmly but firmly cry out to GOD even if you have before?
  • Will you “praise” HIM even in the middle of your trouble?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Shorten the Running Period

Jonah 1: The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”

But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.


“Hypocrites!” was my exclamation. This was my escape clause for not going to church anymore. I had seen one too many sins by so called “church people” that I decided not to go back. Everything seemed to go fine at first, then one wind came and another and yet another. Soon the winds of life were blowing so hard I actually had to cry out, “LORD please help me!”

  • There have been times that I have run from GOD.
  • There have been times that I have stopped worshipping HIM.
  • There have been times that I have sought my own way only to find troubles that I could not get myself out of.

During my “running period” I noticed I was allowed to do anything I wanted. I chose things that were not pleasing to GOD and at first HE did nothing. I tried a little more and a little more and a little more. Soon I was headed down the path of questioning HIS existence. “If YOU do exist, then heal my eyes” was my childish rant.

  • GOD allows me to sin, but prefers that I speak about HIS SON.
  • GOD understands when I question HIM, but prefers I seek HIM with childlike faith.
  • GOD knows the times when I run from HIM, but loves the times I chose HIS wonderful path.

In spite of my sprint away from HIM, GOD welcomed me back with open arms. HE restored me to a place where I could speak freely about JESUS and HE never looked back. I am glad GOD restores me!

  • Are you running from GOD?
  • Do you think you can get far away from HIM?
  • Will you stop trying to do things on your own and allow HIM to transform you?
  • Can you follow GOD’s plan for you today?

Look at the Planter

Amos 9: 13 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman
    and the planter by the one treading grapes.
New wine will drip from the mountains
    and flow from all the hills,
14     and I will bring my people Israel back from exile.
“They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them.
    They will plant vineyards and drink their wine;
    they will make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 I will plant Israel in their own land,
    never again to be uprooted
    from the land I have given them,”
says the Lord your God.


During the demolition of our garage, I remember tossing junk on the ground next to our neighbor’s garage. It was a sliver of land and one part had sludge poured over it to control weeds. I found a wet bag of fertilizer and I tossed it on one part of the land.

Years later, as I was trying to get my farming merit badge, I planted a few tomato plants in the area between the two garages. They grew into very monstrous plants producing enough tomatoes to give to all our neighbors!

  • Sometimes the ground I’m working on seems fruitless.
  • Sometimes the situation I’m in seems hopeless.
  • Sometimes the problems in life seem like sludge poured over me.

I could not see what was going on. Summer then winter then summer again and I never realized what was going on with the small space. In fact so many years had passed that I forgot where the sludge had been poured and where it had stopped. I planted in the area that was fertile and rich with nutrients. GOD had restored the land.

  • GOD wants to restore me even when I cannot see it.
  • GOD wants me to see HIS salvation even when I am not looking for it.
  • GOD wants me to bear fruit so HE makes the ground fertile enough to do so.

Sometimes I think I have to work “so” hard to please GOD. I mean I have to stop sinning, go to church, give, serve, be good all while working on twenty other things. GOD says to me “Take MY yoke upon you and learn of ME all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

HE seeks to restore me daily and forgives me of all of yesterday’s sins. HE allows me to rebuild the city I have ruined and prepares a place where fruit can be bared!

  • Do you need restoration?
  • Do you think you need to work hard at serving GOD?
  • Can you relax and let GOD make your land fertile?
  • Will you slow down enough to listen to the most HIGH GOD and let HIM restore you HIS way?